Comments (183)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
7d 

Friend at GS got less than $25k. Got a pit in my stomach…

  • 3
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
7d 

following

6d 
ebitdaddddy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Heard WB is restructuring.. is that true?

  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Cov
6d 

Bankruptcy? Highly doubt that - news would have broke by now

  • 1
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
6d 

Bump for analyst / aso bonuses

  • Intern in IB - Cov
6d 

Hate the bumping or following. Just one question, is it over or under half of the bonus from last year? And how's A2A?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
6d 

Heard was really bad

  • 1
5d 
ebitdaddddy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This was pretty similar at Baird. Associate 1 made 20-50% of base. Bloodbath.

  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Cov
6d 

This can't be real dawg wtf

6d 
rem29, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If 25k for ASO1… then what's it for AN1 😳

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
6d 

Heard AN2 40k mid bucket

  • 2
  • Intern in IB - Cov
6d 

How does this line up w associate numbers above?

  • 1
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
6d 

Definitely interesting. Don't disagree with this thought process. Increasing Base pay may have reduced banking productivity due to the inherent change in bonus expectations.

Counterpoint tho is that some banks / groups paid 100%+ on the increased base. (Some kid at an EB in secondaries - see mega thread). Also don't think productivity is an issue ->Just printer stopped going "brrrrr". M2 money supply down, first time in history, as well.

  • VP in PE - Other
6d 

Thanks for a real response unlike the poster above. Big caveat - I don't know if the following is accurate but can be done by pulling financials for some of the public advisory platforms. When you say paid 100% bonus on higher bases - that was for a banner year where most people were completely slammed. A more meaningful metric would be to adjust for headcount and fees. Ratio of Fee / Headcount plotted against Total Comp / Headcount and / or looking at Comp as % of Fee Revenue. Also don't forget the banks hired a lot of folks, so even if fee is back to 2019 (again, not sure if true - would be interesting to see full year earnings), you still have more mouths to feed than 2019 staffing levels. When fee is compressed, you adjust some combination of headcount and TC; with base salaries rising, you are forced to pay lower bonuses (before cutting into HC).

6d 
G6K, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I prefer having a higher base (guaranteed money every month) than the uncertainty of a bonus that meets my expectations.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
6d 

Even though bonuses aren't hitting in-line with general IB expectations, can we really be expecting to see people quitting and lateraling out of their shops? Given current macro conditions and layoffs across the street there is a strong pool of talent that is looking to find their next gig which I feel creates a relatively competitive market to try and make a move. In that regard I feel like job security is everything right now (especially at the junior level).

Curious to hear if other have similar or different perspectives

  • 2
5d 
Lockwood, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Even though bonuses aren't hitting in-line with general IB expectations, can we really be expecting to see people quitting and lateraling out of their shops? Given current macro conditions and layoffs across the street there is a strong pool of talent that is looking to find their next gig which I feel creates a relatively competitive market to try and make a move. In that regard I feel like job security is everything right now (especially at the junior level).

Curious to hear if other have similar or different perspectives

None of the Top or Mid Bucket were cut. 

Layoffs are mostly the dead wood and bottom bucket. 

I get your point but this argument doesn't really hold water.

TMT M&A - London
4d 
Kevin25, what's your opinion? Comment below:

it's pretty subjective who's mid bucket and who's bottom bucket. I bet among hundreds (or is it thousands at this point) of people laid off from various banks (mainly top banks like GS/MS), there are a few very solid people, let's say 200-300 high quality finance professionals who are looking for jobs now, and there are not many finance firms hiring now. so, I would agree that even with laughable bonus, it's a bad time to quit your place and search for a different job.

6d 
rem29, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You know it's bad when no one is actually wanting to say what their bonus was. It's all anecdotal. 

  • 2
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
6d 

I think you can only interpret bonuses this bad across the board in a few ways. And before people point to how it isn't that bad and fees are down etc, no reputable bank should be paying anything close to 25% of base as a bonus. An associate making  

Option A is this is essentially a layoff, they know a decent chunk of people will look for the door ASAP now and they avoid the cultural issues of a layoff. This is dumb to me since you risk losing your good talent as well and the lazy analysts stick around, but that's just me. Also if this is the case you would think they'd still pay up for top performers (and it doesn't sound like top bucket was much better).

Option B is that WB (and others) are just screwing juniors because they can - job market clearly sucks and there's a bunch of recently laid off BB juniors looking for jobs right now. No one in their right mind would quit without something lined up and the lateral market is basically closed, tech hiring basically stalled, PE/GE funds are generally hiring less, etc. Essentially banks finally have leverage again after 2+ years of needing to suck up to junior bankers and they're taking advantage.

Anyway it certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth, some banks out there have chosen to continue to pay juniors because it's not fair to punish them for a decline in firm revenue but WB and others have chosen to punish juniors. Sucks for all the juniors who got a bad number this year

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
6d 

Option b would undoubtedly lead to very poor performance, would it not? No way that's a smart move by a bank

4d 
Kevin25, what's your opinion? Comment below:

as long as deals are closed, banks will make fees. poor performance doesn't matter if the deal is closed. and great performance doesn't matter if the deal is not closed. from the financial standpoint.

6d 
WhomstIBanalyst, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Good lord, so are you looking at the exit door or wait till the lateral market opens again?

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
6d 

That's insane, wow

6d 
BankBoy23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I read the thing from Day man like this is literally what we could afford to pay you this year/we know the next few years will be down and are comfortable letting a decent number of ppl leave on their own accord.
 

 Guessing you were subsidizing underperforming groups. 

  • 1
6d 
robert139, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The issue with WB (and Baird, no different) is that in 2021 they were doing a bunch of $500M-$1B deals which obviously pay a lot more, but when the economy tanks they go way down market and do a lot of  

So it means a bunch of juniors worked just as hard but bank top line numbers sucked, and bonus pool evaporates. Crappy situation for juniors.

Also hard because many BBs paid similar bonuses, but the difference at those banks is they aren't chasing $100M sell-sides. My friends at BBs are working way less so it's at least a bit more fair IMO to give a bad bonus

6d 
californiastdreamin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What % of base was WB at around? 15-50% band and overindexing in the front half?

5d 
WACC_ing off, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Bro we're not working a lot less, getting clapped dog fr

  • Associate 3 in IB - Cov
6d 

Just lol at working for a bank like William blair.  

  • 2
  • 17
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
6d 

They're a good group. Sounds like bonuses are just low across many banks this year. 

  • 2
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
6d 

Is it bad across all groups? 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
5d 

Must be a way for them to "layoff" lower bucket talent rather than actual layoffs

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
5d 

Most people only work at a firm for 2-3 years before heading to their next opportunity. Could see groups paying a larger bonus only to the more dedicated / higher performing folk. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
5d 

interesting that the split is so wide...would you be able to disclose how your bonus compares to last year roughly? 

Most Helpful
  • Managing Director in IB-M&A
5d 

This is really unacceptable on the part of WB (and RB), and bad management

private partnerships need to take care of their employees in a way public companies have stopped. I get it at MS where frankly associates get the training and the brand and you had to protect the producers. At WB etc you simply have to comp better.

Bad management decisions.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
5d 

People that mention quitting - would you leave banking or lateral banks? Curious because I imagine both are slowed down now.

  • VP in IB-M&A
5d 

You might not like it but this is the prudent way of managing a business. You don't pay your employees large bonuses when there is presently a lot of economic uncertainty and your core clients are not doing deals because the leveraged finance market is shut down.

This is a cyclical industry guys. We don't get paid well when conditions are this bad. It sucks having to work like slaves and not get compensated well for it but that is the risk we all signed up for.

Put yourselves in the shoes of an owner of a business and think honestly about what you would do in this situation. If you would pay your employees strong bonuses in these conditions then you are either dishonest or a moron

  • 7
  • 2
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
5d 

Gosh thanks for letting us know that in down years we should expect lower bonuses. Crazy nobody's mentioned that in this thread.

If you're still playing catch-up, here's a few things we're discussing:

-communicate guidance downward instead of parading around for months slapping yourself on the back about it being the second best year of all time with record backlog "we held up WAY better than those pesky BBs!"

-don't reward people who are literally mailing it in for months at a similar level as people who are busting their ass, think for two seconds about the precedent this sets for your average and above performers heading into a new year

-consider how you will be perceived from a culture standpoint when that's all you brag about throughout recruiting (hint: full of shit)

-don't give totally bogus feedback as a way to justify the lower bonuses, we're fucking adults you can explain the situation

  • Managing Director in IB-M&A
5d 

Gosh thanks for letting us know that in down years we should expect lower bonuses. Crazy nobody's mentioned that in this thread.

If you're still playing catch-up, here's a few things we're discussing:

-communicate guidance downward instead of parading around for months slapping yourself on the back about it being the second best year of all time with record backlog "we held up WAY better than those pesky BBs!"

-don't reward people who are literally mailing it in for months at a similar level as people who are busting their ass, think for two seconds about the precedent this sets for your average and above performers heading into a new year

-consider how you will be perceived from a culture standpoint when that's all you brag about throughout recruiting (hint: full of shit)

-don't give totally bogus feedback as a way to justify the lower bonuses, we're fucking adults you can explain the situation

Agree with all of this. I've had to manage through some rough bonus cycles and the key thing is never screw your top performers. And always be totally straight on communication. 

  • Managing Director in IB-M&A
5d 

You might not like it but this is the prudent way of managing a business. You don't pay your employees large bonuses when there is presently a lot of economic uncertainty and your core clients are not doing deals because the leveraged finance market is shut down.

This is a cyclical industry guys. We don't get paid well when conditions are this bad. It sucks having to work like slaves and not get compensated well for it but that is the risk we all signed up for.

Put yourselves in the shoes of an owner of a business and think honestly about what you would do in this situation. If you would pay your employees strong bonuses in these conditions then you are either dishonest or a moron

In that case, then you treat your top junior performers as real partners. Explain the challenges, explain your are conserving cash and cut people in on future upside. Promote early when deserved. Esp at the Associate and VP level, people will think long term like adults. 
 

Funniest
5d 
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What is with people on this thread?

You work at William Blair dude.

Get over yourself and be happy you were not fired.

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  • Prospect in PE - Growth
4d 

I admire your commitment to surpassing Pussy Galore's volume of asinine commentary, but this one is really on another level of retardation. You are supposedly an accomplished IBanker, yet seem to possess the social skills of an autistic 4th grader. What gives? 

  • 2
4d 
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Seems an equal amount agree with me, then disagree.

Hows your job search going as a prospect?

Any luck?

5d 
Lockwood, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As a senior with some exposure to how this stuff works. I honestly don't get it. 

The biggest mistake isn't lower bonuses. People expect that.

What does damage is the minimal delta between bottom bucket and mid and mid bucket and top.

Clearly a stupid decision. I remember at Jef they used to pay bottom bucket zero bonus and give their money to top bucket.

Jef has its problems but this was always a smart way or getting rid of the shit people, incentivising mid bucket to work hard enough to not be bottom bucket and keeping top bucket for as long as possible.

TMT M&A - London
  • 4
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
4d 

Appreciate your perspective and makes sense.

For me there are two categories of lower bucket but should be completely distinct: 1) guys that are trying but just not getting it, tons of mistakes, sloppy, etc. 2) guys that are legitimately just not doing work, constantly MIA, etc.

For group #2 to be making within like 10-15k of peers who are giving it their all is so insulting its crazy. So you're telling me I could have just not shown up to the office for 3 weeks, shut my laptop at 11pm and gone unresponsive, and that's all it would have cost me?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
5d 

Were ASO1 full year bonuses (ie, joined summer 2021) really 40k? If so that would be the same as AN2 mid bucket.

5d 
fanatical, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Top bucket this year is key. No one is really posting top bucket #s but they aren't that bad at many of the firms people are talking about here. Doesn't make things easier but it's key to be doing more than just sitting and crunching, your team and firm and group all need to know you and like you in years like this.

Controversial
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
5d 

What happened to 'MMs pay more than BBs?' Look at you now, you're underpaid and work at a mediocre bank. 

  • 8
  • 7
  • Analyst 1 in AM - Other
5d 

Damn bro. Salty much? Let's try to be positive & supportive

  • 1
5d 
iggs99988, what's your opinion? Comment below:

RE: there being basically one bonus band and zero differentiation.

unfortunately this isn't 2005 or 2015 anymore and the world has moved on. Banker clients view the product as a complete commodity (which it is) and give zero fucks about your "differentiated view" or worthless pitch book (sorry to offend).

today in 2023 banking is a complete commodity and information flows exponentially faster than it did even several years ago. Your clients have more visibility than you and know more than you. 
 

When capital markets are shut, banking is a 0% value add business. When they're open, it's a 5% value add. Again, sorry that's just the way the world is. 
 

Banking is in a long structural decline and is a dying business. 

5d 
high hopes, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ib-healthcare-guy

Long, structural decline yet 2021 best year ever for fees? Checks out.
 

Houston had 4 banks completely close their energy office with more set to happen.
 

most banks had solid tech teams running up the revenue - not their consumer groups. 
 

  • 1
  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
5d 

how is your heralded TQQQ options strategy going?

It's easy to pile on WB for their shitty comp but to say banks are 0-5% incremental value add is ridiculous

5d 
iggs99988, what's your opinion? Comment below:

how is your heralded TQQQ options strategy going?

It's easy to pile on WB for their shitty comp but to say banks are 0-5% incremental value add is ridiculous

It's actually going well, thanks for asking.

The idea that clients view banks are 0-5% value add is the worst kept secret in finance. Did I just open up the world for you? Lol

4d 
Kevin25, what's your opinion? Comment below:

looks like they're trying to get rid of people, not get new ones

4d 
mrentreprenuer, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
4d 
deevague, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
4d 
martinmurphy, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
4d 
nataliagonzalez, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
4d 
phys.power, what's your opinion? Comment below:

sorry for asking dumb q's. whats WB? and can someone explain what stub bonuses are? ty

  • 1
4d 
newcityparadise, what's your opinion? Comment below:
[Comment removed by mod team]
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
4d 
[Comment removed by mod team]
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
4d 

Can confirm morale is at an all time low - most people didn't get their number on Friday but rumors are (obviously) spiraling out of control so everyone is completely freaked out and gossip is crazy about what to expect. Already hearing from nearly everyone that they're starting to try to recruit out - we'll see how that pans out given the economy, but it's not good. William Blair has a very much "work hard and you'll be taken care of" culture, and I think this bonus means a lot of people are losing trust in the institution

  • Associate 3 in IB - Cov
4d 

Most of the people I've spoken to at the junior level have said they're out and going to start actively looking for an exit, some are people I know are high performers too

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
4d 

Is it fair to say everyone is looking to leave across all groups? 

  • Managing Director in IB - Cov
4d 

The view on WSO of being able to effectively lateral because bonus numbers are bad seems to be completely divorced from the reality on the street.

Sure - some banks will be investing and doubling down in certain areas, but the lateral market is very quiet / dead right now and expect it to remain that way for a few quarters. I also don't think the pain from layoffs is over, so be careful moving to a new shop now and being first out the door when another round of layoffs is announced.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
4d 

Despite the number of posts on here, we still dont have many numbers. Can ppl share what they got? 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
3d 

shhhh... let them mourn in private

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
3d 

Seconding what someone else said about top bucket actually being ok. Obviously not good and way down from 21 (of course), but more in line with what I expected and actually pretty solid vs what I've seen from competitor threads.

Not going to give a number since I was told there weren't many people at my number but it was felt pretty fair honestly.

Seems like more of the carnage was at the associate level - I'm sure there were some decent numbers there that aren't being shared, but seems like the vast majority were bad and a lot of bottom bucket numbers

3d 
Dukha, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Almost incomprehensible if it is actually a high performer. It is one thing to drop folks who you never really see contributing at a senior level, but it is another to hit the top performers. Historically not a great strategy.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
3d 

A3 promoted to AS1
40k bonus

Hoping more people post numbers

  • 4
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
2d 

Let's get some actual numbers on here

2d 
flying_nomad, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
1d 

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1d 
[email protected], what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
1d 

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1d 
MoscowMule, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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1d 
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